Who We Are
“The mission of Memphis Theological Seminary is to educate and sustain men and women for ordained and lay Christian ministry in the church and the world through shaping and inspiring lives devoted to scholarship, piety and justice.”
MTS 2015 Student Body
Number of Students
- African American 46%
- Caucasian 46%
- Asian 5%
- Other 3%
The MTS Student Body represents 30+ denominations. The largest numbers of MTS students are from Methodist, Cumberland Presbyterian and Baptist denominations.
MTS Faculty — The members of the faculty and adjunct faculty hold degrees from Memphis Theological Seminary, Vanderbilt University, Union Theological Seminary, Duke University, Columbia Theological Seminary, Emory University, Princeton Theological Seminary and other educational institutions from across the country. The faculty represents United Methodist, Cumberland Presbyterian, Disciples of Christ, Baptist, Jewish, Presbyterian (USA), Nazarene and Roman Catholic traditions.
MTS Accreditation — The seminary is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS), and by the Commission on Colleges and Schools of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). MTS is also approved by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church as a school for theological students of the United Methodist Church.
MTS Library — The library collection consists of 87,000 bound volumes, subscriptions to 382 current periodicals, microfilm, microfiche, and audio and video recordings. Non-student library cards are available at no charge to area ministers, religious professionals and Cumberland Presbyterians, as well as students, faculty, staff and alumni from institutions with whom we have reciprocal borrowing agreements. Other users can get a card for a small fee. The library is fully automated using the SIRSI Library System, and contains many indices and abstracts, including the ATLA Religion Database on CD-ROM. The library also holds theses and Doctor of Ministry Projects produced by MTS graduates and faculty members, and has unique sections on Martin Luther King, Jr., and C.S. Lewis. The library catalogue and additional information about available services can be accessed through the website.
MTS History — In 1852, the Cumberland Presbyterian Church established a theological school at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tenn., and a theological department at Bethel College in McKenzie, Tenn. Economic factors, the Civil War, the passing of Cumberland University into the hands of the Presbyterian Church, and the union of the Cumberland Presbyterians and the Presbyterian Church led to the organization of a single Theological Seminary in 1908 under the reorganized Cumberland Presbyterian Church. In 1964, the institution gained a new identity and a new name, Memphis Theological Seminary, as it moved from McKenzie, Tennessee, to its present location in Memphis.
MTS Campus — The seminary campus is located in mid-town Memphis on five acres at the corner of East Parkway and Union Avenue. Three main buildings, Founders Hall, Cumberland Hall, and Hilliard Hall, house classrooms, offices, the MTS library and the P.F. Johnson Chapel. Brown Shannon Hall has a student lounge and additional offices. Sixteen units provide housing for commuter students.